"Pay attention to the world." -- Susan Sontag
 

Tulipa clusiana: The Lady Tulip (2 of 2)

From “Tulipa Clusiana: The Lady Tulip” in Some Flowers by Vita Sackville-West:

Clusiana is said to have travelled from the Mediterranean to England in 1636, which, as the first tulips had reached our shores about 1580, is an early date in tulip history. [She] takes her name from Carolus Clusius (or Charles de Lecluse) who became Professor of botany at Leiden in 1593….

“Her native home will suggest the conditions under which she likes to be grown: a sunny exposure and a light rich soil. If it is a bit gritty, so much the better. Personally I like to see her springing up amongst grey stones, with a few rather stunted shrubs of Mediterranean character to keep her company: some dwarf lavender, and the grey-green cistus making a kind of amphitheatre behind her while some creeping rosemary spreads a green mat at her feet….

“A grouping of this kind has the practical advantage that all its members enjoy the same treatment as to soil and aspect, and, being regional compatriots, have the air of understanding one another and speaking the same language. Nothing has forced them into an ill-assorted companionship.”

From “Tulip” in Collected Poems, 1939-1989 by William Jay Smith:

A slender goblet wreathed in flame,
From Istanbul the flower came
And brought its beauty, and its name.

Now as I lift it up, that fire
Sweeps on from dome to golden spire
Until the East is all aflame:

By curving petals held entire
In cup of ceremonial fire,
Magnificence within a frame.


Hello!

This is the second of two post featuring photographs of Lady Tulips (Tulipa clusiana) that I took at Oakland Cemetery’s gardens a few weeks ago. The first post is Tulipa clusiana: The Lady Tulip (1 of 2); and my previous red tulip posts are Some Time with Red Tulips (1 of 2) and Some Time with Red Tulips (2 of 2).

Sometimes I’m easily amused, such as when I post photographs of tulips in front of a gray stone, then get lucky enough to find a quotation (like the one from Vita-Sackville West above) that describes tulips among gray stones — w00t!

Thanks for taking a look!






Tulipa clusiana: The Lady Tulip (1 of 2)

From “Sonnets, Second Series” by Frederick Goddard Tuckerman in Three Centuries of American Poetry, edited by Allen Mandelbaum and Robert D. Richardson:

His heart was in his garden; but his brain
Wandered at will among the fiery stars.
Bards, heroes, prophets, Homers, Hamilcars,
With many angels stood, his eye to gain;
The devils, too, were his familiars:
And yet the cunning florist held his eyes
Close to the ground, a tulip bulb his prize….

From Tulipa: A Photographer’s Botanical by Christopher Baker:

Tulipa clusiana: Originally from Kashmir, northern Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq, this plant, first described by Augustin Pyramus de Candolle in 1803, is named for the great botanist Carolus Clusius, who in the latter part of the sixteenth century was professor of Botany at Leiden University and one of the first to study bulbs systematically. Nicknamed the ‘Lady Tulip,’ T. clusiana is a slender plant with a small starlike flower with carmine-red blotches on the three outer petals, a violet base, and narrow leaves that are undulating and grayish-green….

Tulipa clusiana Cynthia: A cultivar of T. clusiana that was registered by C. G. van Tubergen in 1959, the outer petals of ‘Cynthia’ are reddish, edged chartreuse-green, and from a distance the flower appears soft orange. Inside it is feathered red on green and the base is purplish. The bulb is the same size as that of T. clusiana. ‘Cynthia’ grows well and is 25 centimeters in height.

Tulipa clusiana var. chrysantha: Described in 1948 by Sir Alfred Daniel Hall but known before then, this tulip was found in the mountains of northern Afghanistan in the same area where T. clusiana was found. It was first known as T. chrysantha and later as a variety of T. clusiana. A slender variety with small leaves and a flower form that is slightly elongated, its crisply pointed petals are deep yellow with a vast red blush on the exterior, visible when the flower is closed.”


Hello!

On the same stroll through the gardens where I snagged photos of red tulips (see Some Time with Red Tulips (1 of 2) and Some Time with Red Tulips (2 of 2)), I also came across a few nice batches of Tulipa clusiana varieties, all aglow in the morning sunlight. Exactly which variant these flowers belong to escapes me a bit; they’re similar enough that I included mention of two of the varieties above, since they’re probably one of those two. They are all clearly members of the T. clusiana family, however; and they’re all commonly referred to by the name “Lady Tulip” — blooming in white, yellow, orange-yellow, and pale-yellow colors, and typically featuring shades of red on the outer sides of their petals. Personally I’ve never seen white ones — but I’d like to! — as it seems the yellow/orange varieties are more common here in the southeast.

Thanks for taking a look!








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